How to Restore Deleted History

Updated March 23, 2017

When you delete your history from your computer, it’s not really deleted. That history can, in fact, still be located and viewed with the appropriate software. Deleted history is stored in a hidden file known as the index.dat file, and unless the index.dat file has been cleaned, then you can locate the file and view and even restore deleted history with an index.dat file reader.

Open the Search Companion. Click “Start.” Click “Search.”

Click “Tools.” Click “Folder Options.” Click the “View” tab.

Select the option to “Show hidden files and folders,” which is located beneath the “Hidden files and folders” section.

Deselect the options to “Hide extensions for known file types” and to “Hide protected operating system files.” Click “Apply.” Click “OK.”

Configure the search parameters to search “All Files and Folders” in the “C Drive.” Input “index.dat” into the search bar. Click “Search.”

Download an index.dat file reader on your computer. Open the index.dat file inside the reader. Click the “Restore” button within the index.dat reader to restore deleted history.


Restore default file and folder options when you are done by clicking on “Restore Defaults” within the “View” tab of the “Folder Options” window.


Beware of not restoring the default file and folder options because important files could become damaged if you don’t.

Things You'll Need

  • Index.dat file
  • Index.dat file reader
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About the Author

Kayla Lowe has been a freelance writer since 2008. She writes for various online publications and is also the author of the book "Maiden's Blush," a Christian-fiction romance novel. Lowe is pursuing a degree in elementary education.